VP24-karyopherin alpha binding affinities differ between Ebolavirus species, influencing interferon inhibition and VP24 stability

Toni M. Schwarz, Megan R. Edwards, Audrey Diederichs, Joshua B. Alinger, Daisy W. Leung, Gaya K. Amarasinghe, Christopher F. Basler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV), and Reston ebolavirus (RESTV) belong to the same genus but exhibit different virulence properties. VP24 protein, a structural protein present in all family members, blocks interferon (IFN) signaling and likely contributes to virulence. Inhibition of IFN signaling by EBOV VP24 (eVP24) involves its interaction with the NPI-1 subfamily of karyopherin alpha (KPNA) nuclear transporters. Here, we evaluated eVP24, BDBV VP24 (bVP24), and RESTV VP24 (rVP24) interactions with three NPI-1 subfamily KPNAs (KPNA1, KPNA5, and KPNA6). Using purified proteins, we demonstrated that each VP24 binds to each of the three NPI-1 KPNAs. bVP24, however, exhibited approximately 10-foldlower KPNA binding affinity than either eVP24 or rVP24. Cell-based assays also indicate that bVP24 exhibits decreased KPNA interaction, decreased suppression of IFN induced gene expression, and a decreased half-life in transfected cells compared to eVP24 or rVP24. Amino acid sequence alignments between bVP24 and eVP24 also identified residues within and surrounding the previously defined eVP24-KPNA5 binding interface that decrease eVP24-KPNA affinity or bVP24-KPNA affinity. VP24 mutations that lead to reduced KPNA binding affinity also decrease IFN inhibition and shorten VP24 half-lives. These data identify novel functional differences in VP24- KPNA interaction and reveal a novel impact of the VP24-KPNA interaction on VP24 stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01715-16
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Ebola virus
  • Filovirus
  • Interferons
  • Karyopherin
  • Protein stability
  • STAT1


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